Dis-orientation Through Volume – Three Dimensional Tanx interviewed

Three Dimensional Tanx are one of the most exciting bands around, their raucous blend of garage, punk and psych whipping up an electric live show. Their self titled debut album is a little firecracker and there are more tantalising studio releases on the way. Without further ado check out the brilliant ‘I Am Go’ and read an interview with Lancaster’s finest!

How is work for the next album coming along?

It’s finished! There are 12 songs and it comes in around 35 minutes long – doesn’t give you much time to breathe. The artwork and mastering are being done as we speak and it should be out at the end of August with a single coming out just before.

Where did the characteristic 3D Tanx sound come from?

60 years-worth of rock ’n’ roll squeezed through our particular sieve. Dis-orientation through volume (ala Mission of Burma), and excitement through high-energy are important to us. An audience member once told us we made them have an out of body experience!

What are the main influences?

Waaaaay too many to mention really. But…When the band started around 2000, there was a nod to the Velvet Underground, Can, Neu, Stooges, MC5, the Fall, Joy Division. Since then, those bands plus loads more. We could list stuff for hours.

What are Spacey’s influences as a frontman?

Not poseurs…people who get lost in the music and give it their all, who let themselves get taken over by the music. Examples being Iggy Pop, Roger Chapman, Malcolm Mooney’s percussive vocals, Mark E Smith’s ranting.

This appears to be a “second era” of the band, what is the story behind 3D Tanx’s comeback?

Tanx never really went away as such, but there was a period of a kind of stasis and some uncertainty. Basically, original guitarist David was busy with his wife Holly who are the Lovely Eggs. Holly had done some vocals for early Tanx songs like ‘Baby Universe’ and ‘Peak Time’. There was some overlap with David doing some gigs with Pete and Richard in various combinations. There was one gig at Gullivers’ in Manchester when there were all 3 guitarists on stage at once. Eventually, the Lovely Eggs’ busy schedule meant that David left to pursue that band and Pete & Richard became permanent members. The new line-up have now recorded two studio albums, and various live stuff.

With such a plethora of psych bands, how hard is it to stand out?

I don’t know if we even are a ‘psych band’ as such. We certainly love psychedelic music, though it’s one of several elements to what we do. Also, psych can mean lots of different things to different people. A lot of current psych tends to draw from a fairly narrow definition. I think we stand out because we don’t really sound like any of the other bands doing psych at the moment. To be honest, we probably stick out like a sore thumb!

Does the internet make it easier or harder?

Easier to do stuff yourself, but harder in that there are a billion bands vying for attention, and fairly traditional channels and hierarchies (magazines, radio, taste-makers) still set the scene as to what’s cool or not. Access to information is easier at least, and we’ve been played and written about all over the world which probably wouldn’t have happened without the internet.

Why do you think psych is so popular at the moment?

I don’t think it’s ever totally gone away really. About 10 years ago, the emphasis was on bands like Espers, Vetiver, Feathers etc and a lot of folk-tinged psych. Loads of bands in the 80s (particularly Spacemen 3) and 90s (Brian Jonestown Massacre) were obviously psych-influenced. So it’s always there in some form or other. But the various psych-fests and promoters have cropped up and made it cool again.

What gigs have you got coming up?

We kind of stopped actively seeking them whilst finishing this latest album, but now it’s done we’re hoping to get out across the country again soon. We’ve got plenty coming up in our native Lancaster, the Northwest and beyond, quite a few tbc. Any promoters reading this, by all means get in touch with us.

Can you play ‘Psychedelic Sun’ at every gig you play… ever?

Er, probably not, sorry! We have played it a LOT, and it does come back into the set every now and again, but we’re keen to keep feeding new stuff into the live set, mix things up and keep things fresh.

Mother fuckers.

Buy Three Dimensional Tanx stuff here!! http://threedimensionaltanx.bandcamp.com


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